It is the warm, muggy, too hot to do anything days that bring out the memories that have been tucked into corners and hidden on tiny shelves in my mind for these decades. I can feel the splash of cold water as my brother and I wade at my Grammy Martin’s beach at Twitchell Pond. It is the season of high bush blueberries and they hang over the water, as we gingerly tread along the shore line to get our noon meal. The berries are warm from the sun and so sweet that we hum our way as we go.
We have run through the field to get to the beach because of the “huge milk adder snake” that supposedly lives there and awaits any swimmer’s toes passing through. I loathe snakes and my first encounter was when blueberrying barefoot with my two older brothers. What was, according to all reports later in life, a harmless snake wound its body around my ankle and lower leg and Roland, always the protector of his little sister got the snake off and threw it as far as possible. I understand it took him longer to console his sister than it did to dispose of the snake.
I noticed the big “to-do” online about the restaurant owner and the two year old screaming for 40 minutes. That reminds me of the Sunday drives we used to take with Dad to East B Hill. We were in the back seat with one statement…”You kids keep quiet back there..” and we did! It never occurred to my brothers and me to even question either of our parents! Ma had what she called her “switch” straight from the alder patch at the side of the house and I felt that sting. One time I was having too good a time next door with my cousins and the parents arrived home from work, not knowing where their only daughter was and not a sign of her in sight. From my perch on the cousins’ picnic table ( I think we were putting on a play), I saw Ma come around the bend in the path between our houses with switch in hand. Suffice it to say, I did not take a leisurely walk back home over the path..the posies were a blur and she was right on my tail every step of the way. Now I realize she was more scared than mad, but at the time of course it was grossly unfair and my world was ruined.
Do you remember being finger printed by the State Police when you were in grammar school?? I was in the fourth grade and I remember this tall policeman taking each of my fingers and rolling them in ink. Then he stood in front of me and noted that I had a “mole” on the side of my face. Grammy Martin always called it a beauty mark, so I thought “mole” was an ugly word and knew that I could never commit a crime now because the world had my fingerprints.
Every time I read the vaccination arguements, I remember standing in line with the other fourth graders. Dr. Boynton stood there and I could hear the yips and yelps as we received our smallpox vaccinations. I made up my mind he would not make me yip or yelp. I didn’t, but that was sore and ugly for what seemed like weeks.
When I read about fund raisers, I think of the time as a senior in high school, we held a paper drive to earn money for our New York City trip. I am not condoning this behavior, but will admit to it. My friend, Louise, borrowed her brother-in-law’s car and decided we would take the day to knock on doors asking for old newspapers. Howe Hill was our destination. We drove and knocked, piled the back seat of the car full of papers and surprisingly most people were glad to be rid of them. It never occurred to either of us that Louise could drive, but had no license. We were in that age category where naw, no “cop” would stop us and if he did, he would realize the good deed we were doing. I cannot remember , honestly, I cannot….but at one house, we collected the old papers, Louise backed the car around and hit a mail box. Well, I won’t say the whole thing went to the ground, but it was leaning precariously as we sped off leaving a cloud of dust behind us. As it were, karma stepped in and after all papers were collected, we were told a month later that our work was in vain. Someone at the company who processed the papers had absconded with our funds. Well, it was a day off from school.
Did you have Career Day in high school? We could not wait! I wanted to be a disc jockey and had contacted one at WCOU in Lewiston about coming down to see how everything worked. He answered that it would be fine. When asked by our principal what careers we were pursuing, I told him flat out and he replied that NO woman would ever be a disc jockey and if I were to pursue that on career day I would get a definite F. Long story short: Louise and I went to Lewiston with Ted Dunham and the mail; she went shopping ( I have no idea what her career was going to be) and I sat in with Lou Dennis for four hours on the radio. We met Ted at a pre-determined spot and rode home to Bryant Pond. That is a memory I will cherish…I got a definite day off from school and a definite F for my musical career.
That was 1955…yup, back in the days of crinoline and poodle skirts, ankle bracelets that looked like dog collars, the jukebox at Denny’s restaurant in Bryant Pond and Jordan’s restaurant in Locke’s Mills, and let’s not forget those saddle shoes! Anyone not experiencing the Fifties missed so much.
Time to put the lid on the little boxes in my mind and come back home to the present. Thanks for sharing my memories.